Doctors usually treat atopic dermatitis -- an itchy skin condition commonly called eczema -- with topical medications. These are creams, lotions, and other medicines that are applied to the skin. Some people with atopic dermatitis respond well to hydrocortisone, a mild steroid medication that helps relieve itching. Hydrocortisone is sold over the counter, though your doctor can prescribe a preparation containing a stronger dose of medicine. People with hard-to-treat atopic dermatitis may be given prescriptions for oral steroid medications.
Topical immunomodulators, which include tacrolimus and pimecrolimus are another option for treating atopic dermatitis. These medications produce changes in the body's immune system that help to control itching and other symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Doctors may also prescribe antihistamines, especially if a person is having trouble sleeping due to itching. Antibiotics are given to treat skin infections that may occur in people with atopic dermatitis.
Doctors sometimes prescribe other medications for treating this skin condition. Your doctor or dermatologist can help guide you on the best treatment options for you.